>Off the Beaten Path>Tsarnaev makes cover of Rolling Stone - are you outraged?
Nope not one bit. If you were one of he 180 or so who were DIRECTLY affected, I could see why they might be upset. But really everyone else is just feeding his "fame" as much as the cover it.
The argument is really simple as to why someone might be upset. The glamorization of Tsarnaev could spawn copycats in the name of cool. That's not a worry about what already happened or who it happened to. It's a worry about future violence. It's a reasonable worry for a community that was directly affected by Tsarnaev's cruel actions.
The Logic of Long Distance
Fortunately, the ability of print media (in this case, Rolling Stone) to influence ANYTHING (especially the thoughts/opinions of teenagers) is nowhere close to what it once was. Far more kids are reading about the outrage/controversy using today's Social Media sites (Reddit, etc.) than will ever be picking up the magazine. The editors knew that their Cover selection was controversial... but they are desperate... and it's unlikely to change the ineveitable. There is plenty about the Boston event to be outraged about (like Tsarnaev himself)- no need to waste time & emotions reacting to a planned controversy by editors of a magazine that was influential 25 years ago.
I don't think the cover's picture has any power whatsoever. The picture has been on the internet for months. Anyone who ultimately chooses to be an Islamic terrorist becomes one because of the combined religious and political belief systems, not to get on the cover of Rolling Stone. I highly doubt that "you'll be on the cover of a magazine" is on the list for converting people to the cause. Becoming an Islamic martyr is a religious achievement of self-sacrifice.
This appears on the surface to be a freedom of speech discussion. That we're here using our freedom of speech to complain about a group of journalists who did the same in an irresponsible way. This is a challenge to the personal values of the individuals in the media. What are you as an individual willing to do for a buck? Does integrity mean anything any more? I think the way the country is going bothers us. We've lost ourselves in the media and commercialism. The way the news channels turn horrible events into entertainment is almost as horrifying as the event, because it's another step down into the world depicted in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. When I look at that cover, I see a static version of CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc. Here's the character of the terrorist monster (that we've already convicted long before a fair trial). The cover of that magazine is no different than the countless shows that we see all over cable TV about murderers such as Mark David Chapman, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, etc., which sometimes include interviews with the convicted . It seems people have always been fascinated with criminals. Bonnie and Clyde and Dillinger and the like were all money in the bank for the media back then. Perhaps, we're getting tired of the conflict between our beliefs that murder is wrong, but yet we think violent crime news presented as entertainment is cool. We need the violent crime to keep the entertainment going. I'm sure most would say it isn't cool, but people keep watching, and the media keeps making a buck.
Will the people who say they will use their freedom and never buy the magazine again extend these values to the rest of the media doing the same exact thing as RS?
Log PRs Crusted Salt comics #192 (NSFW)
I doubt it. People are naturally predisposed to perceive things in a way that fits their preexisting mindset or world view. RS is a soft target for many because of its liberal, anti-establishment-leaning views. People that are already biased against that type of viewpoint will most likely channel their "outrage" at RS, while viewing the similar techniques and manipulations of the centrist, corporatist media outlets in a different light.